I worked with watercolor again at Judy's yesterday and did most of this painting there. I finished it this morning at home. I'm pleased with it and feeling very good about my watercolor expertise. I was afraid I would never get it back.
Last night was David's last night here and we had dinner together at the Chowder House. I had thought about cooking dinner for him, but I know he doesn't like to be around the dogs. If I had taken something over to his house, he would have been left with dirty dishes, so I decided going out was our best option. I have spent much more time with David this year than in the past, so his leaving will have more impact on me than before. He became a bigger part of my life, someone to depend upon for company, good conversation, and practical advice and help. He inspired me artistically, too, with his aproach to photography, his experimental boldness. He has become a friend to me in every way, perhaps the best friend I have. He is going back to Thom, happily, and a void for him is being filled. He leaves one here, though.
My day was taken up with worrying about Mike's dog, Zeke, or actually about Mike and his having to deal with the situation. It turned out that Zeke does have cancer. I floundered around in my typical way upon hearing the news, unable to accept it. I called Dr. Cloutier, imagining that somehow he would make it go away, have some magic remedy. He was very clear and honest, giving me none of the hope that I was looking for. Amputation, which was recommended by Mike's vet, was his suggestion as well. He said that death was inevitable, but that chemotherapy could prolong Zeke's life. He explained the reasons for different kinds of treatment and the pros and cons of each one. He outlined the future in detail so that now Mike can make an informed decision about what to do. I called Mike reluctantly and told him what I had found out. He was reasonable and calm about it, at least while he was talking to me, having already accepted Zeke's diagnosis and its consequences. He listened to the information I had for him and considered it all thoughtfully. He just wants to keep Zeke alive as long as he is comfortable and happy.
My reaction to news like that about one of my dogs would have been a great gnashing of teeth, a refusal to accept the truth, crying and wailing. In the end I would have wanted to euthanize the dog immediately in order to save myself the prolonged agony of waiting, watching, wondering. I would cry every time I looked at the dog and would want him out of my sight to save me that incredible pain. In short, my anguish would prevent me from enjoying another minute of the dog's life. I am a selfish coward under such circumstances.